Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Numbers": How they change perceptions!

It was lunch time, and during general chit-chat, I broadcasted to the crowd around the table, my latest addition to the fitness regime - 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups every morning, with an aim to raise it to 100 gradually in two months' time!

And, guess what the first response from an overwhelmed colleague was?! "How do you find time for all these!!" A couple of heads nodded along, as if, yeah! How do you!!?

I was puzzled, but then answers have to be answers... so, I went something like this -
"Do you know how much time it takes to do a single push-up action?"
"2 seconds?"
"Yeah - pretty much - make it 3 if you really want to squeeze those muscles. So, how much does 20 push-ups take?"
"3 x 20 = 60 seconds"
"Exactly - it takes only a minute extra from your regular chores to do it - add a minute or two to preparations etc, so if you set your alarm to, say, 3 minutes earlier than your regular time, you can do 20 push-ups every morning!"
"Hmm... true"

How perceptions change when you talk in terms of numbers, or say, when facts are laid across bare!

Simple analogy, but wide possibilities! Look at the following typical questions, from across walks of life:

  • Why should I switch off my computer, or say, lights or fan or whatever, when not used? What difference can it make!? (think a billion of yous doing it)

  • How would a sachet of sugar less in my cofee help me in my fitness!? (put 60 sachets (a month's set-aside) together, and lets see how much of sugar it amounts to!)

  • Oh my God, its a long walk! (dude, its just 2 kilometers - you used to walk even more, to school, when you were a kid)

  • How do you drink that black tea without sugar? (ahem, well, its more of an acquired taste - remember the first time you tasted alcohol? It would have been like "yuck, how do you guyz drink this?!" And now, you might just be drinking and making merry everyother day!)

  • Oh, I've worked out a lot today (dude, your treadmill says its just 50 cals!!!)

Nah... you wont turn into a machine, or loose your human nature, or loose fun in life if you think numbers or facts where they are required :-)


  1. Almost all of these instances have just one root cause: laziness. Waking up three minutes earlier is really no big deal - but every morning I tell Mom "Amma just 2 more minutes and then I will wake up" - a repeated speech every 2 mins. Mom says my 5 mins are the longest in the world.

    So even if you subconsiously know a small work out is just a coupla mins long, you consciously avoid thinking about it - cause numbers would mean realization and that would mean action which would be anti-laziness! And we are all born pro-lazy, well at least most people I know.

  2. You lose one thing by doing all these ,the opportunity to blame others for our failures..the eternal bliss which keeps lot of us running....

  3. true man, most often half the time that's lost in thinking and procrastinating something is enough to actually do it.
    I'm going to wake up 3 minutes earlier than usual tomorrow;)

  4. numbers are not that boring after all :)